Ireland's Fergal O'Brien to face Mark Selby in World Championships after record-breaking victory
FERGAL O'BRIEN is in this morning's draw for the opening round of the World Snooker championships after a record-breaking victory in the final qualifying round match against Dave Gilbert.
In what was a tight tussle all the way, things took a turn for the worse in the last which set the record for the longest frame of the modern era as it lasted 119 minutes and 40 seconds.
The pair were one hour on the colours alone including a controversial moment when, with Gilbert snookered on the green, he appeared to hit the blue first, however, it wasn't called by the referee and play continued. However, O'Brien kept his composure and sealed a 10-9 victory with pots on the brown and blue as he became the last man to qualify for the tournament.
Earlier, Peter Ebdon wrestled with mixed emotions after he secured a 24th appearance. The 2002 world champion was thankful to be back at snooker's most famous venue but was left "numb" by his performance in sneaking a 10-9 win over Michael Holt in the final qualifying round.
Ebdon, 46, was close to tears as he weighed up his latest successful bid. The 40th anniversary of the Crucible first staging the tournament makes it especially poignant for Ebdon, who said: "It means everything."
Earlier, two-time champion Mark Williams lost out 10-7 to England's Stuart Carrington. His defeat means he misses out on a place for just the second time since his debut in 1997.
Draw for the first round of the Betfred World Championship, beginning on Saturday at the Crucible, Sheffield:
Mark Selby v Fergal O'Brien
Ryan Day v Xiao Guodong
Neil Robertson v Noppon Saengkham
Marco Fu v Luca Brecel
Shaun Murphy v Yan Bingtao
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Gary Wilson
Liang Wenbo v Stuart Carrington
Ding Junhui v Zhou Yuelong
Stuart Bingham v Peter Ebdon
Kyren Wilson v David Grace
Mark Allen v Jimmy Robertson
John Higgins v Martin Gould
Barry Hawkins v Tom Ford
Ali Carter v Graeme Dott
Anthony McGill v Stephen Maguire
Judd Trump v Rory McLeod